Saving the Game A Christian podcast about tabletop roleplaying games, collaborative storytelling in RPGs, and other interesting topics

October 16, 2018  
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Krissi Woodward joins us again this episode to help Grant and Jenny speak a little less, since they're both pretty sick in this episode, and to talk about character backstories with everyone! Krissi's been on a few previous episodes can be found on Twitter as @d20mom.

We catch up a bit and talk about our upcoming streaming schedule over on Twitch, and then answer a question about fictional characters we'd want to GM for from Patreon supporter Richard Lorenz. Then after our Scripture readings, we dive into character backstories: What makes a good background, common pitfalls, some general advice, and the methods we each use for coming up with backstories for our characters.

Scripture: Genesis 37: 19-26Isaiah 43: 18-19Acts 9:1-62 Corinthians 5:16-17

September 4, 2018  
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Zach Lorton of Back Burner Games joins us this episode to talk about playing music at the gaming table! Zach's a DJ, game designer, and friend of the show, so he's basically the perfect person to talk to about playing music and sound effects as part of the tabletop gaming experience. He's also got a lot to say, as you'll hear in this episode! Before that, though, we let Zach talk about Back Burner Games (Patreon, Instagram, Facebook) and very briefly talk about what we're playing and what's going on behind the scenes at STG.

After that, pastor and Patreon supporter Douglas Underhill gives us a somewhat controversial question to tackle, asking what our second choice of religion or life philosophy would be if somehow Christianity were off the table. Then we're into our Scripture readings for this episode and diving right into the main topic! We cover Jenny's musical talents and everyone else's lack thereof; background music; sound effects and ambient music; foreground music (including a story Grant's been wanting to tell for ages); how to use all of these at the table; and where to get music or sound effects.

Mentioned in this episode: Ribbon Drive RPG; the Pieces board game café in St. Louis, MO; myNoise; Tabletop Audio; MeloDice; and OverClocked ReMix.

Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:17-23Psalm 96:1-2Proverbs 25:201 Corinthians 14:15-19

August 21, 2018  
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Gaming podcaster extraordinaire Kris Newton returns to discuss handling destiny in our games! Kris hosts two of our favorite podcasts: The Gameable Saturday Morning Podcast (neé Gameable Disney and Gameable Pixar) and the much-more-NSFW MegaDumbCast. He's been on several times before, just as we've all been on various episodes of Gameable, and we're delighted to have him back again. After catching up for a bit and hearing what Kris has been playing lately, we answer a spot-on Patreon question from Shawn Stauffer, who asks us to put together an adventuring party consisting entirely of Disney characters.

That done, and our Scripture for this episode read, we go deep into the idea of "destiny" in traditional storytelling and in tabletop gaming. What are some different approaches for including it in our games? How can we maintain player autonomy and input while getting full value from this powerful and familiar story element? What purpose does a destiny serve in our stories or as a metagame tool? And how do we mechanically define a destiny, if we do so at all?

Also mentioned in this episode: Steve Jackson Games's In Nomine RPG; the Machine of Death anthology; the Protean City Comics podcast; and Magpie Games's Masks RPG.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 31:19-22Isaiah 46:10Jeremiah 1:4-51 Corinthians 2:9-10

August 7, 2018  
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Continuing our previous episode, Allen Mowers, Ashley Mowers, and Kyle Stainbrook from the Min/Max Podcast join us to finish our discussion on  moral accountability for our in-character choices. Just how much accountability do we have for the things our characters do in our games? How do we handle bleed, and how do we handle it when our own characters engage matters we aren’t fully comfortable with?

If you missed Part One of this conversation, you can find it here. Enjoy!

Relevant links: STG 111, “Larp and the Psychology of Play (with Dr. Sarah Lynne-Bowman)”; Dr. Sarah Lynne-Bowman’s articles on bleed and playing nasty characters; and STG 17, “Lines and Veils”.

Scripture: Psalm 7:14-16Matthew 5:21Matthew 13:13Mark 7:14-23

July 24, 2018  
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We reach maximum hosting with not one, not two, but three guests this week! Allen Mowers, Ashley Mowers, and Kyle Stainbrook from the much-loved Min/Max Podcast join us to discuss moral accountability for our in-character choices. After we manage to get through an introduction, we all briefly talk about what we've been playing. Grant plugs our new "oh my gosh what if story" t-shirt, Peter and Jenny plug appearances on City on a Hill Gaming and Bard and Bible, and then we all answer a question from Patreon supporter Richard Lorenz about which fictional character we'd each want to run a game for us.

After reading Scripture, we then dive into this complex issue together: Just how much accountability do we have for the things our characters do in our games? How do we handle bleed, and how do we handle it when our own characters engage matters we aren't fully comfortable with?

We'll wrap up this conversation in Part Two next time, so stay tuned!

Relevant links: STG 111, "Larp and the Psychology of Play (with Dr. Sarah Lynne-Bowman)"; Dr. Sarah Lynne-Bowman's articles on bleed and playing nasty characters; and STG 17, "Lines and Veils".

Scripture: Psalm 7:14-16Matthew 5:21Matthew 13:13Mark 7:14-23

May 29, 2018  
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As foretold, once every thirty-three episodes Mike Perna of Innroads Ministries, Game Store Prophets, and Bard and Bible joins us—this time, to talk about board games! Mike takes a moment to plug TavernCon 2018 (June 9th in Warren, NJ.) We also give a bit of a shout-out (belated by the time this episode drops) to the Min/Max Podcast for hitting the one-year mark. Then we take on a question from Patreon backer "Retro Rewind Podcast" (another good podcast you should check out) about our favorite foods and the trouble we'd go to in order to eat them.

Once all that's done, we read our Scripture and start talking about board games. We focus specifically on board games close to our roleplaying focus—games with heavy story elements, or games in which there's a procedurally-generated story to enjoy—but we do roam around a bit and talk about a lot of games, so make sure to check the links below if you're interested in any of those!

Board games mentioned in this episode: OverlightGloomhavenOnce Upon A Time (3rd Edition)T.I.M.E. StoriesAlien ArtifactTwilight ImperiumThrough The AgesBarker's RowMeeple CircusFog of Love...and then we held handsStar CrossedThe GrizzledFreedom: The Underground RailroadArranged!This War of MineTales of the Arabian NightsAbove and BelowNear and FarThe Quiet YearLegend of the Five Rings: The Card GameAndroid: NetrunnerAshes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. (Phew!)

Scripture: Proverbs 11:1-3Philippians 2:3-41 Corinthians 9:24-27

May 15, 2018  
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This week, we've got not one, but two special guests on the mics with us! Daniel Silver and Father David Subu join us to introduce us to Doxacon Prime 2018! Doxacon is a convention about Christian genre fiction and fandom, and it's happening November 2-3, 2018, in Washington, DC. (For more information, check out the Doxacon Prime Facebook group, and follow @DoxaconPrime and @Doxacast on Twitter.) You can also hear some recordings from Doxacon and other interviews over at Ancient Faith Radio.

Daniel and Father David have a lot more to talk about than just their awesome convention, though. First, we all chime in to respond to Patreon backer Nathanael Farley, who asks "What is your favorite (possibly indie) RPG that you think needs more love in the wider world?" (Our picks: Swords Without MasterThe Trouble With RoseAnima PrimeDialect, and ... 1st Ed. D&D. Seriously.) Then, after our Scripture readings (including our first Deuterocanonical reading from Wisdom of Sirach) our guests talk about the need for Doxacon, and how in many ways modern Christian genre fiction and fandoms are still affected by the "Satanic Panic" of the late 20th century.

Scripture: Deuteronomy 31:19-22; Proverbs 17:17; Wisdom of Sirach 4:20-25; Psalm 18; Hebrews 10:24-25

May 1, 2018  
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Author, actor, programmer, and preacher Stephen Weese joins us for a fascinating discussion on subculture ministry! Stephen's book God Loves the Freaks: A Guide to Subculture Ministry was one of the books we read as background material for Saving the Game when we were just starting the podcast, and it was great to finally have him on our show. We covered a lot of ground in this episode, so buckle up!

Our Patreon question this week is from Nathanael Farley, who asks "Which game system do you dislike the most, and what do you LIKE about it?"

Other things mentioned in this episode: The Grave Robbers; The Exodus Adventure Game; Fear the Con 11; City on a Hill Gaming; Sister Agony's Academy.

Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:4-7Mark 16:15John 13:35Galatians 3:28

April 17, 2018  
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Gamer and pastor Tim Decker of Christ Community Etc in Owosso, MI joins us to talk about playing support characters in our roleplaying games, in response to the eternal complaints of players who don't want to play the cleric! We also discuss how to end a game that's stopped being fun without any hard feelings, as Grant's Fellowship group did, and the conclusion of Jenny's "moidah mystery" prequel to Keep on the Borderlands. We also spend quite a lot of time answering Patreon backer "ComposerDad", who asks whether gaming groups share the same unifying, cross-subcultural nature of churches. Once that's done, we dive deep into ways to make those "boring" support characters into something more interesting than a healbot. Enjoy!

Also mentioned in this episode: STG 95, "Hospitality".

Scripture: Exodus 17:8-13Hebrews 13:15-16Luke 10:36-37

October 31, 2017  
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Jenny and her mother Shannon (of STG 10 fame!) deliver an after-action report on Save Against Fear 2017, held Oct. 13-15 in Harrisburg, PA! Everyone had a great time, and the con was exceptionally well-run and definitely worth attending next year.

Some specific shoutouts: First, to our former co-host Branden, who was in attendance and ran a fantastic Mistborn game! Also to the Harrisburg Mall for providing an excellent con space; Harrisburg University's game design program; and of course to The Bodhana Group for putting on a great con and continuing to be wonderful people doing good for hurting people.

Games mentioned in this episode: Dreamchaser by Imagining Games; We Didn't Playtest This At All by Asmadi Games; Starfall by Pandasaurus Games; Spirit Island by Greater Than Games; Clank by Renegade Game Studios; Smallworld by Days of Wonder; Castle Dice and Epic PvP by Fun To 11; Cthulhu Invictus by Chaosium; Mistborn by Crafty Games; Kingmaker by Avalon Hill; Mysterium by Asmodee; and "Into the Dragon's Maw" by Dragonix.

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